Poverty

Measuring Vulnerability to Poverty

Measuring Vulnerability to Poverty
Stefan Dercon, ed., Insurance Against Poverty. Oxford University Press,

Morduch, J. & Kamanaou, G.
01/01/2004

This book evaluates alternatives in widening insurance and social protection provision - including sustainability and poverty effects, in thematic papers and case studies, development assessments, and policy analyses.

Microfinance: Where Do We Stand?

Microfinance: Where Do We Stand?
Chapter included in Charles Goodhart, editor, Financial Development and Economic Growth: Explaining the Links. Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan,

Morduch, J. & Armendariz de Aghion, B.
01/01/2004

The most successful economies have the best working financial markets. While causation obviously runs in both directions, current research has increasingly emphasized the role of finance in promoting growth. Here seven leading financial economists explore the links between financial development and growth. The book seeks to answer the question of the role of finance in promoting sustainable growth and in the reduction of poverty, for example via micro-financial institutions.

Promoting Early Childhood Development through Comprehensive Community Initiatives

Promoting Early Childhood Development through Comprehensive Community Initiatives
Children's Services: Social Policy, Research, and Practice, 1(4), pp. 1-24.

Aber, J.L., L. Berlin & J. Brooks-Gunn.
01/01/2004

Recent advances in developmental psychology, social services, and social policy have converged to highlight 3 issues: (a) the importance of early development; (b) the importance of the contexts, or "ecology," of early development, especially with respect to the ill effects of early childhood poverty; and (c) the promise of intervention programs for low-income children, families, and communities, including comprehensive community initiatives (CCIs). CCIs, however, generally have not focused on young children. In this article, we synthesize developmental science and current understanding of CCIs to suggest a number of ways for CCIs to increase their emphasis on early development. We begin with a review of developmental research that illustrates the effects of community characteristics on children's development. We then review the goals, strategies, and principles of CCIs. These reviews illustrate that despite overlapping emphases, developmental science and CCIs could be linked more generatively. We propose ways in which CCIs can be geared more specifically toward promoting early child development. Finally, we suggest strategies for evaluating these types of initiatives.

Social Networks and Homelessness Among Women Heads of Household

Social Networks and Homelessness Among Women Heads of Household
American Journal of Community Psychology , 33:1-2, pp. 7-20.

Toohey, Siobhan, M., Shinn, M. & Weitzman, B.C.
01/01/2004

To examine possible bidirectional relationships between homelessness and deficient social networks, we compared the networks of 251 mothers before, and approximately 5 years after, their families entered shelters with networks of 291 consistently housed poor mothers. At Time 1, more women on the verge of homelessness than housed women reported that they had mothers, grandmothers, friends, and relatives but fewer believed these network members were housing resources. At Time 2, after homeless women were rehoused, these network differences between consistently housed and formerly homeless women had largely disappeared. Contrary to prior research findings, formerly homeless mothers did not report smaller networks, more children or fewer partners. However, formerly homeless women did report fewer positive functions. Because of city policies, homeless mothers were frequently rehoused far from network members.

The Future Of The Public’s Health: Vision, Values, And Strategies

The Future Of The Public’s Health: Vision, Values, And Strategies
Health Affairs, Vol. 23, Issue 4, 96-107.

Gostin, L.O., Boufford, J.I. & Martinez, R.
01/01/2004

The expansive vision of modern public health, "healthy people in healthy communities," is politically charged. This paper offers a justification for this broad vision and offers concrete proposals. By pointing to the poor condition of public health agencies; urging a transition to an intersectoral public health system; promoting the adoption of bold changes in U.S. physical, social, and economic conditions; and endorsing a values shift to a commitment to collective interest in healthier communities, we hope to take a dramatic step toward achieving these aspirations for "healthy people in healthy communities."

The Pecking Order: Which Siblings Succeed and Why

The Pecking Order: Which Siblings Succeed and Why
New York: Pantheon Books,

Conley, D.
01/01/2004

In recent years, people have begun to examine family dynamics for clues to individual success. Birth order, in particular, has been a favored explanation for the differences between siblings in everything from leadership skills to romantic conquests. Now Dalton Conley, a sociology professor at NYU, reveals that indeed our siblings may affect how our lives turn out, but not in the ways we might think. Conley made an effort not to simplify the very complex familial data collected by both the United States Census, a long-term study conducted by the University of Michigan, and the University of Chicago's General Social Survey. What he found was that the differences between siblings outweigh almost every other kind of difference between any two individuals in the United States. Every family has a pecking order independent of birth order, and the differences between siblings are magnified by poverty and disenfranchisement. In these situations, families invest in the sibling most likely to succeed, leading to stark divides, even class differences between family members. Oddly, the choice of successful sibling is made independent of birth order, parental attention, or innate talents, and becomes a tacit agreement among family members. Conley uses a plethora of examples, including Bill and Roger Clinton, to illustrate his findings, and readers will nod knowingly at many of the ubiquitous family behaviors that set siblings up for differing life paths. Ultimately, what The Pecking Order reveals is that there is no single factor that can predict one's success or failure in life, but that complex, multilayered familial dynamics play the biggest part in determining our fate.

Virtual District, Real Improvement: A Retrospective Evaluation of the Chancellor's District, 1996-2003

Virtual District, Real Improvement: A Retrospective Evaluation of the Chancellor's District, 1996-2003
New York University, Institute for Education and Social Policy,

Phenix, D., Siegel, D., Zaltsman, A. & Fruchter, N.
01/01/2004

This study is a retrospective analysis of the outcomes of the Chancellor’s District, a virtual district created to improve New York City’s most poorly performing public schools. New York City Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew initiated the district in 1996 to remove state-identified low-performing schools from their sub-district authorities, and to accelerate their improvement by imposing a centralized management structure, a uniform curriculum, and intensive professional development. The initiative was terminated in 2003 when a new, Mayoral-controlled regime restructured the city school system.

Welfare Reform in Miami: Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

Welfare Reform in Miami: Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods
MDRC,

Brock, T., Kwakye, I., Polyné, J.C., Richburg-Hayes, L., Seith, D., Stepick, A… & Rich, S.
01/01/2004

The 1996 national welfare reform law introduced a five-year time limit on federally funded cash assistance, imposed tough new work requirements, restricted benefits for noncitizens, and gave states more flexibility to design their welfare programs than in the past. Anticipating that the law might pose particular challenges for urban areas — where poverty and welfare receipt are concentrated — MDRC launched a study to examine its implementation and effects in four big cities. This report focuses on trends in Miami-Dade County between 1996 and 2002.

What Matters to Low-Income Patients in Ambulatory Care Facilities?

What Matters to Low-Income Patients in Ambulatory Care Facilities?
Medical Care Research and Review. Sep 2004; 61: 352 - 375.

Delia, D., Hall, A. & Billings, J.
01/01/2004

Poor, uninsured, and minority patients depend disproportionately on hospital outpatient departments (OPDs) and freestanding health centers for ambulatory care. These providers confront significant challenges, including limited resources, greater demand for services, and the need to improve quality and patient satisfaction. The authors use a survey of patients in OPDs and health centers in New York City to determine which aspects of the ambulatory care visit have the greatest influence on patients’ overall site evaluation. The personal interaction between patients and physicians, provider continuity, and the general cleanliness/appearance of the facility stand out as high priorities. Access to services and interactions with other facility staff are of significant, although lesser, importance. These findings suggest ways to restructure the delivery of care so that it is more responsive to the concerns of low-income patients.

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